"Unhappy with postnatal care in Cheltenham"

About: Cheltenham General Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

After 22 hours of labour and my baby being delivered by forceps I was exhausted, tired and under shock as it was my first baby.

I had a spinal anasthetic and was unable to move my legs. After I was stiched up I was put into a room with my newborn baby where I was left for about 2 hours to bond, without a midwife checking on us as they were all busy doing paperwork. I was then put into a room with 3 other women and screaming babies. All I wanted was to rest which was impossible as i had to settle my baby, who was suffering from injuries to its head from the forceps.

As soon as my baby was asleep I thought I could have some rest but I wasn't able to sleep with all the noise around me. The next morning I waited for somebody to help me to have a shower and have some breakfast and I was left waiting for about 3 hours. I complained to a midwife that I was hungry and exhausted and asked her if I could be moved to a less crowded room. After another hour of waiting a care assistant supported me to have a shower and get some breakfast but my request of being moved into another room was completly ignored.

When I was able to walk again I had a look around the ward and found that there were other rooms that were less crowed or even empty. My baby's hair was covered in dried blood and I asked for it to be bathed. I was promised that somebody would show me how to bath it. This didn't happen until an hour before I left the hospital 3 days later!

The support me and my baby received was very poor when I felt so vunerable. I had to stay 3 days at the hospital and I was unable to recover or rest. I am very disappointed with the standard of care and compassion of the midwives towards patients.

At the antenatal classes I was told that 20 years ago babies were taken away from the mothers for a few hours so that they could rest and the babies got washed and looked after. Why is this not happening anymore? It would have made things so much better for me if I could have just slept for a few hours after being in labour for such a long time.

The hospital experience has completely put me off having more children and left me traumatised.

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